Wednesday, September 28, 2011

The Eye Doctor

About a year-and-a-half ago, Emerson was diagnosed with Strabismus.  In short, her right eye wanders out at times because her muscle control in that eye isn't as good as in the other eye.  It really isn't noticeable on Emerson, unless she's in extreme sunlight, she's really tired, or sometimes it happens when she is focusing on objects.  When it happens, she usually closes or squints her right eye.  We've been seeing a pediatric ophthalmologist for her condition and watching it to make sure it doesn't get worse.  We wanted to make sure she wasn't losing any vision and her depth perception wasn't weakening.  At this point, Emerson is controlling her eye on her own and does a great job at bringing it back-in by herself when it wanders.  Her doctor is optimistic she will not need glasses and will not need corrective surgery, but we need to keep watching her, as it can become worse with age.  We see her eye doctor every six months, and since I had never documented it before on the blog, I took my camera along last Thursday (9/22) for our appointment.

Checking her vision.
Her doctor's office uses monitors with images and/or letters to test the vision of their pediatric patients.  Until now Emerson had to recognize and say images, but Thursday was her first appointment using letter recognition (let's see if preschool paid off).  The letter test on a monitor is much harder and much more accurate at measuring vision.  Emerson had to look at the letter housed within a small box on the monitor and then pick it out on the board she was holding.  The orthoptist first tested her using both eyes and then she patched one eye at a time and completed the test.  Emerson passed with flying colors and 20/20 vision...good thing she knows her letters!!

Next the orthoptist used a prism bar to measure Emerson's muscle control, or occular deviation (as stated on the website I used to look up the prism bar).

Then it was time for Emerson's favorite eye doctor game; wearing 3-D glasses and pointing to the bugs jumping out at her.  The orthoptist uses the special glasses and the special 3-D book to test Emerson's depth perception.

Eye Dilation
After all the tests, it was time to get her eyes dilated.  Emerson did a great job getting numbing drops and dilating drops put in each eye.  Her reward from the nurse was a solid 20 minutes of play while her eyes took their time to dilate.

Dilated pupils! 
Hard to tell since her eyes are so dark brown in the first place.  

The special sunglasses you get to wear home from the doctor after eye dilation.  
We've had such a great experience at the eye doctor and get really good care.  It might have something to do with Grammy working there and every nurse, doctor and orthoptist get weekly reports and picture showings of Emerson by Grammy.  I know it makes Emerson much more at ease to walk in and have everyone know so much about her and treat her like they already know her.  How could they resist that cute little patient?!?!?

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